What’s Cooking This Week

Well it’s been a busy few weeks of travel adventures so we’re slowly returning to normal. I spent some time taking stock of the freezer and what goodies I had from Misfits Markets to use and came up with an absolutely amazing stuffed spaghetti squash for dinner tonight. This is a perfect reminder that sometimes the best dinners don’t come out of a recipe. It’s what feels right as you’re putting it together.

I split a spaghetti squash in half and scooped out the seeds. Then I seasoned each half with salt, pepper, sage and a drizzle of olive oil, placed the halves skin side up on a cookie sheet, and pierced the outer skin a couple times. It went in to the oven to roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

While the squash was doing it’s thing in the oven, I took some cooked spicy Italian sausage that I had in the freezer and heated it with some freshly chopped tomato, onion, and a bit of spicy tomato oil. I cooked it until the onions were soft and everything was heated through.

When the squash was tender, I shredded it with a fork, spooned my filling over the squash and topped everything with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I returned it to the oven until the cheese was melty and brown.

It was super simple and completely amazing. Two of my favorite things on a busy night! What’s on your table these days? No matter what it is, may you enjoy it in good health and surrounded by those you love!

Eat well friends.

Game Day Go-To: Quesadillas

We’re getting back to our game day football routine (with a bonus side of MLB baseball playoffs). Plus we’re pretty confident that we’re enjoying the last warm weather of our season to get out and get grilling. So I took advantage of both those happy coincidences to make some sheet pan quesadillas.

Before kickoff, I seasoned some steak with a blend of fajita spices and grilled it until medium (you want to undercook it a bit because it will be going into the oven to finish up). I also threw some sliced peppers and onions in a foil pan with some butter and grilled them along side.

When everything was finished on the grill, I sprayed a cookie sheet with olive oil spray and laid four large flour tortillas so they were hanging over the side of the pan. Then I placed one tortilla in the center so the whole cookie sheet is covered up.

I sliced the beef and arranged in a layer over the tortillas. Then I added the grilled peppers and onions and topped everything with grated pepper jack cheese (or cheddar if you want to tone down the spice). I folded the overlapping tortillas over and topped with one more tortilla to make sure the filling was covered. I brushed the top with olive oil, covered with foil, then topped with another cookie sheet. I baked it for about 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Then I removed the top cookie sheet and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the top was golden brown. I sliced it into rectangles and served with salsa, guacamole (not pictured because I forgot to put it out right away), and sour cream.

What I love about this is that you can adapt it to include any meat and veggie combo that you want. The possibilities are endless!

Sunday Brunch with Friends

Few things bring me more happiness than spending the day in the kitchen cooking for those who are most special to me. Today, friends, was one of those days. We’ve been able to enjoy the company of old friends all weekend and we wanted to cap off the weekend with brunch in my town. I was trying to think of an easy spot for everyone to meet at until I remembered that I love to cook and we could just have a relaxing afternoon here! And it was just perfect (if I may be so bold to say so myself).

I thought one easy brunch dish could be crustless quiche. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what everyone’s favorite fillings were so I decided to try making the recipe in muffin tins and we all loved how they came out (they did deflate slightly after taking them out of the tins, alas). One batch had sausage and bacon, the other batch had broccoli and chopped red pepper (all had cheddar cheese). I ended up baking them about ten minutes less than the normal cook time.

Then I felt we needed a nice salad on the side. Yesterday’s fall adventures took us to a few local apple orchards, so I tossed some mixed greens with chopped apples, diced gouda cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. I couldn’t remember if we were dealing with any nut allergies, so candied pecans were on the side to top things off.

And what’s brunch without something sweet? Full disclosure, I can’t take credit for the apple bread. It was another acquisition from our orchard tour, but it was so fresh and moist – the perfect bite to end the meal.

Everyone thought I’d slaved over the preparation, but I did confess it was so simple. More importantly, it gave us plenty of time to enjoy, catch up and reminisce. What could be better than that?